Your Yoga teacher demonstrates a backbend and you think “ok, I got it this”. You’ve been practicing yoga long enough and it’s due time to feel the invigorating strength your yogi friends swear by.
But incorporating backbends into your practice leaves you feeling like a beginner with a touch of anxiety and a sore low back. What gives?
Our spines are designed to extend, or bend backward, but that doesn’t mean we can hop right in and take on some of the most challenging (and rewarding!) yoga poses. Think back on your day and where your spine has spent most of its time:
- Flexion (bending forward)
- Neutral (upright and looking quite like a model skeleton)
- Extension (bending backward)
Was there any extension? These days we don’t move, or do activities that naturally make our spines bend back. We’re out of practice. That’s why backbends in yoga class can easily interrupt your meditative mindset and leave you wondering “what’s the point of this?”. Our body needs some preparation and practice. And it’s worth it because when your spine moves smoothly into a backbend you’ll reap all the benefits including:
- Increased lung capacity
- A boost of energy
- Tension and stress relief
- Improved emotional health
In Backbends: Foundations to Deep Bending, you will feel your heart and chest open, and learn tools to reverse the pull of gravity on the spine. You will explore a systematic approach to warming up the shoulders, back and hips, and prepare the spine to bend evenly and painlessly. We will perform/attempt postures such as bridge, bow, locust, camel and wheel poses carefully and skillfully.
This series is accessible to students who have a basic yoga practice and have developed a basic understanding of yoga postures. Additional options will be provided for complicated/challenging postures. The series grows in intensity and difficulty. Begin with the first session and work your way slowly through the series. If session one is difficult, continue practicing this first session until proficient, then continue on to the next session when ready.